Music and lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Conceived and directed: James Lapine Musical Director: David Loud Sets: Beowulf Boritt Costumes: Susan Hilferty Lights: Ken Billington Sound: Dan Moses Schreier Projections: Peter Flaherty
Barbara Cook Vanessa Williams Michael Arden Leslie Kritzer
254 West 54th St
(Between B'way & 8th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
ABOUT THE SHOW
Previews begin: Friday, March 19th, 2010
Opening Date: Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 Closing Date:Sunday, June 13th, 2010extended through Sunday, June 27th, 2010
Sondheim On Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed composer in his own words... and music. Through the use of exclusive interview footage, you'll get an inside look at Sondheim's personal life and artistic process. An ensemble cast of Broadway's best will perform brand-new arrangements of over two dozen Sondheim tunes.
"[Sondheim On Sondheim] is a kind of impressionistic view of him that's put together with pieces of archival footage and interview footage. It's a collage of his life, in which who he is and how he got there comes into focus."
"Sondheim on Sondheim, which is to start previews at Studio 54 in March, is expected to feature an eight-person cast, including Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, Leslie Kritzer and Michael Arden. Mr. Lapine said these performers would not be playing characters in Mr. Sondheim’s life or roles from his shows. “We’re not trying to have them be other than who they are,” he said. “It’s about interpretation and emotional points in the show itself.”
The words "intellectual" and "Broadway musical" were seldom mentioned in the same breath until the era of Stephen Sondheim, the dominant artistic force in the American musical theater since the 1970s. Before his breakthrough show, Company, Mr. Sondheim, a protégé of Oscar Hammerstein II, was already recognized as a wunderkind for his lyrics for West Side Story (music by Leonard Bernstein) and Gypsy (Jule Styne). Company, for which he wrote both music and words in 1970, was the first of several groundbreaking collaborations with the producer-director Harold Prince. As a team they established the so-called "concept musical," in which style and story are intertwined, as a flourishing experimental genre. This multi-character mosaic, set in New York, was followed by Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979) and Merrily We Roll Along (1981). Each was a radical departure from its forerunner.
Follies offered brilliant pastiches of vintage Broadway styles. A Little Night Music, their waltz musical, adapted from the Ingmar Bergman movie Smiles of a Summer Night, yielded Mr. Sondheim's most famous song, Send in the Clowns. Pacific Overtures fused Western and Asian styles. Many regard the revenge tragedy Sweeney Todd, with its operatic grand guignol, as his masterpiece. Merrily We Roll Along told its show business story backwards. These were followed by several collaborations with the book writer James Lapine, of which the most famous, Sunday in the Park With George (1984), musically imitated the pointillism of the painter Georges Seurat, and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Into the Woods (1987) imagined beloved fairy-tale characters living unhappily ever after, and Passion (1994) examined the pathology of romantic obsession.